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Start Up Showcases Wilmington
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View of downtown Wilmington from the river
Jason W. Smith, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

North Carolina Entrepreneurs Share Their Stories

Start Up, featuring host Gary Bredow, visited Wilmington to explore the area’s entrepreneurial environment. They discovered fascinating personal stories and shared what it takes to start a successful business.

Local businesses think their community was a perfect fit for the show. “A strong entrepreneurial ecosystem has evolved that includes investors, mentors, support organizations, local government backers, the university and community college, and more,” said George Taylor, CEO of TRU Colors. “The efforts that make me most optimistic and proud are those that ensure Wilmington’s growth and success become growth and success for ALL its residents.”

Shane Faulkner with End of Days Distillery said the filming experience was professional and well planned. “I really appreciated how it highlighted the start-up struggles and challenges but allowed our business to have a very positive vibe. The exposure was also a huge benefit."

The show was recruited to Wilmington by Jim Roberts, the founder of the Network for Entrepreneurs in Wilmington, an independent nonprofit dedicated to growing startups at the coast. 

Start Up is produced by Detroit Public TV and is streaming now online and on the PBS Video app.

TRU Colors Brewery


People across the country have reached out to this brewery on a mission to reduce gang violence after they were featured on the show. What’s next for them? “TRU Colors is working on a number of collaborations with athletes and artists to further accelerate growth in the business and the social mission. And we’re expanding into additional states this year, including Virginia, Maryland, Washington DC, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida,” said CEO George Taylor.

Bitty and Beau's Coffee 


Amy Wright is no stranger to the spotlight—in 2017 she was named CNN Hero of the Year for her work with people for disabilities. What’s next for this coffeehouse chain? “We currently have 11 shops open with another 17 slated to open later this year or early 2023,” said Wright. “We’ve enjoyed hearing from viewers across the country who are excited about our mission and growth!”

End of Days Distillery


People from many different states have visited this distillery since its appearance on the show, and it looks like even more will have the opportunity to try its products in the future. “We are in the process of expansion, a new warehouse and production facility. We are expanding into new markets outside of North Carolina as well as bringing a few new products to market,” said Shane Faulkner.

Genesis Block


CEO Girard Newkirk said his business has seen a totally positive impact from being on the show. “It has provided another layer of credibility for our early stage start-up, and it serves as a tremendous promotional tool. Start Up is our catalyst to build a national brand for our solutions to advance entrepreneurship and empower communities.”

Sea Love Sea Salt


Jason Zombron and Jeanette Philips purchased this business from the founder around the time their episode was filmed. “After the initial airing, sales for the first month grew on our website over 7X the average of previous months,” said Zombron. “We now have repeat customers from all around the country, and they had never been to Wilmington. Now when there is an airing we know because of a bump in sales from that market.”


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